Auckland Triathlon: World Series


Auckland

The 2014 World Triathlon Series kicks off in Auckland, New Zealand. Britain's Non Stanford begins her title defence in the women's race.


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Welcome to Wales where organisers are getting ready for the annual

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race. This is not a conventional location for our coverage, but this

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is one of many triathlons around the world acting as a curtain raiser to

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the 2014 season. Throughout the winter, athletes have been in

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training, now they are ready to take on the world. If the start of this

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season is anything like the end of last season's, the world had better

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watch out. No one can touch him. Non Stanford! It all comes down to the

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final race of the year. His race is run. She is still in first position.

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Non Stanford is the champion of the world.

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For the Welsh world champion, it is only fitting we start our coverage

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here in Wales. We are also here to mark the return to action of another

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of the nation's big names, Helen Jenkins. They will also be taking in

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Scotland, Northern Ireland and England as we look ahead to this

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summer's Commonwealth Games. But our focus today is on the other side of

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the world, in Auckland. Many of the sport's big names are in New

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Zealand's biggest city to race over its tough hills. After that, it is

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Cape Town at the end of April, then you're a hammer in April --

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Yokohama. The fifth race of the season will be in Chicago. Then over

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to Hamburg for the sprint and mixed relay World Championships on the

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12th and 13th of July. After the Commonwealth Games, time to squeeze

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in a last of it -- a seventh event in Stockholm before the final in

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Edmonton, Canada. Some of the locations are different

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this year. And at the scoring system has changed as well. The number of

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points on offer is still 800, but it will be the athlete's best-of-5, not

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four, that will code to the final. These changes will make it harder

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than ever before to become world champion. Spear a thought for world

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champion Non Stanford, having decided the best way to retain her

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title was to complete and before the Commonwealth, she suffered a foot

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injury. But Helen Jenkins is back from injury. She has had a torrid

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time since finishing fifth at London 2012. I'm very pleased to say that

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she is back in action. We went to Team GB training camp in Auckland to

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catch up with her. Heartbreak for Helen Jenkins. It is

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so hard. I had a lot of knee pain that started in May 2012. But it did

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not get a proper diagnosis until June the following year. It was a

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back problem. I had a bit of compression on one of the discs. It

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was coming out on my knee. Do you value the sport now more because of

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the injury? There was not enjoyment because of the pain. I was training

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in order to race. When I had surgery on my back and after that, I was

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able to build up in training, and nothing was hurting. It was such a

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nice feeling to go out and train and not be hurting. I just appreciate

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being able to do it. Last year, I don't know if I was depressed, but I

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was trying to do something and do it, so there was an element of

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depression. I did not enjoy anything. But I am in New Zealand,

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racing, mainly does not hurt -- my knee, it is such a relief.

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Confidence plays such a big role. I suppose you have to work on getting

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your fitness back, and also getting your confidence back. I am aiming

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for the win. But there is no pressure on me this weekend, I am

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just waiting to see what happens. I am just enjoying being back. It has

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been great to see some of the younger British girls coming

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through, like Jodie Stimpson. They have shown themselves on the world

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stage. The run speed was fast last year, but the swim speed and the

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bike speed was probably a little bit slower. It will be interesting to

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see what happens this year. And looking forward to getting back in

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the mix. Just trying to get out there with the girls. Looking at

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Auckland, have you got a strategy in your mind, or is it just wait and

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see? It does look hard. But that could work on my -- in my favour.

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Put your modesty in a box, what are your expectations for this season? I

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would love to hit the podium a couple of times. The Commonwealth

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Games is the big one. We have got medal chances there. That is a

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really big game -- aim. And the team have put so much effort into me. It

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is nicely have that faith in me. I really want to repay it this year.

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It is great to have hell back on the circuit. She is joined by Vicky

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Holland and Jodie Stimpson. Let's see how they get on.

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We have stunning weather conditions. The elite athletes are being

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welcomed down. That is the scene from the helicopter. We are above

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Queens Wharf. This is where it all kicks off, in Auckland. We had from

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Queens Wharf, two laps, into transition. The bike course contains

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several steep climbs, and it takes them around downtown Auckland, into

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Albert Park and out again, and the complete the loop eight times. The

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red line marks the run. They will be on foot for four collapse -- four

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laps. Lots of British interest today. But sadly no Non Stanford.

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Anne Haug wonders contest two years ago. Vicky Holland, wearing number

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25 today. Look out for number 30, Katie Hursey. Natalie Milne. Lucy

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Hall, wearing number 38. And welcome back to Helen Jenkins. Louise

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Rossendale wearing number 48. The elite women are lined up and

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ready to dive into Auckland Harbour to begin the 2014 World Triathlon

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Series. The other way, into the water, clean start. -- they are

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away. Two loops. The exit the water at one of those ramps. Who is

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pushing the pace at the front of the field? We can start to see the

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Arrowhead begin to form. The faster swimmers will look to make a mark

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and get involved in a breakaway group on the bike. We can see some

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of them jostling for position. Quite tight together. Shoulder to

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shoulder. Nobody getting clear yet. Some of these racers will get

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trapped on the inside of this first turn. They will be looking for space

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to breathe as they make this first right-handed turn. Someone get

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pushed up the tide. A few of them getting pushed under and grabbing

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on. It can be really vicious in a situation like this. We have seen

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dislocated shoulders, fingers and eyes. That was really nasty. Some of

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them are spotting as they come through and had across to make the

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next turn. -- and head across. Hats here we will get a close look and

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pick out some of these numbers which are on their shoulders and swim

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caps. I think we have got Natalie Milne from Great Britain up there.

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She has got a very long stroke. Some people think she turns over too

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slowly, but I don't think so. I think she is on the row. For the

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first time, we are seeing a split beginning to develop in that field.

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We can see that gap just developing. Perhaps a little too ambitious for

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some of the swimmers tried Tuesday with the peas. Just beginning to pay

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a price. Try -- trying to stay with the pace. We have seen Natalie Milne

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in this position before. She is a lovely swimmer. This course might be

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a little testing for her. Still, I think, learning. I don't mean to be

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rude, but she is still learning the trade on some of the strength work

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on the bike. Natalie Milne leading there. Gwen Jorgensen. Alice Betto.

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Lots of union flags coming through. Helen Jenkins alongside Vicky

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Holland. We have got to give credit two Gwen Jorgensen. Swimming has

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been a bit of a weakness, but she was really up there. A bit of aban

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sense from the USA top flight from years ago and now this seems to be

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the return. Around the buoy we go again. The field is more spread. We

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are not seeing the barging we saw on the first, but still very, very

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tight. People are moving out, actually before the buoy and not

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taking any chances at all. It looks like much, much less occurrence

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there. Great start for Natalie Milne of

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Great Britain and we have two distinct groups, three groups, I

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would say. A group of about 30, a second group of about 15 and then a

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third group of around ten or 12. So, that could be the way the bike

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groups work out once they've come out of the water and picked up their

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bikes in transition. It's taking just under 20 minutes for the best

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of the swimmers to come to the exit point, to the swim finish. 19

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minutes and around 45 seconds will be the time. The Spaniard comes out

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ahead of Natalie Milne. We'll get a check of of who is where. Five of

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them shoulder to shoulder, including some of the British test --

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contestants. They come into transition, to collect their

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equipment. Helmets go on. The goggles have to go into the box

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correctly. Emma Moffat puts her glasses on. Can be a little chaotic.

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You need to look left and right if you come out into the transition.

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Hewitt further down, more than I anticipated there. With this race

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being common wealeT Games selection race for New Zealand this will be

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fast and furious, because the New Zealand athletes desperately want to

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try to get into a break-away group and if they can establish their

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place in a small group, a lead group, it means they're Commonwealth

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Games place is assured. I think this will be fast and furious. We haven't

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seen anything from Anne Haug. She won this race 12 months ago, the

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German. Finished in third place in the World Series for 2013. We'll

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keep an eye out. It's McIlroy who leads them through at the next

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hairpin. Wow, goodness me, we have a pedestrian who was ambling across

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the road as they came around the right-hander and made the decent on

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to Albert Street. Somebody was totally unaware of the pack of

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riders coming at him. Near miss in the early stages. The pace at the

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front on the bikes is tough. We have seen huge split beginning to develop

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really early on. Jodie Stimpson still up there. Good news for Great

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Britain. And Jorgensen there. She's with a couple of riders for company.

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They finish lap number one with 29 minutes of the race completed. Seven

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laps to go. Kate McIlroy and Rebecca Clarke and Nicky Samuels and Sarah

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Groff, the best of the Americans so far. Moffat and Heather Jenkins and

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Stimpson. Natalie Milne and Lucy Hall are equal 14th. They are all

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within ten seconds of the lead. The first time we have seen Haug, who

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has won this race for the last two years. She is in the chase group and

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she has got Gwen Jorgensen for company, but struBle has struck --

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struck -- trouble has struck for Clarke. Weigh hope she can resolve

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-- we hope she can resolve the issue. There are a couple of wheel

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stations, but Clarke might be too far away to call on any assistance

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and that could be her race run. Haug is looking for inspiration, hoping

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somebody will inject the pace and that Haug can close the gap towards

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the leaders. Good, goodness me. Massive shunt. Five or six tangled

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up here. Jorgensen is on the deck. She is testing her back wheel. One

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or two of the Australians have been damaged as well. Charlotte McShane,

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16, is getting back on and also Ashley Gentle and she seems to have

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come off worse. Jorgensen eases herself back into the race. It looks

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like everybody who crashed is able to continue. But that could have

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been really nasty. Here we go, down they go. The domino effect on the

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bike. And there's carnage on the streets of Auckland. Katie Hirsey

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trying to stay upright, but lost contact. Whatever we see in the

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race, we get the others coming in and they take over. There was a hit

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on to the barrier on the side which initially caused that. It looks like

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a couple of really nasty hits there. It was more like a rugby incident

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than a triathlon incident, with one of the Australians actually, Ashley

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Gentle with five or six bikes and athletes piled on top of her. Well

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done Nicky Samuels. New Zealand are one and two. It's a Kiwi cam pap to

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get away from the rest -- campaign to get away from the rest of them.

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They'll hit the decent. There is the gap, about five seconds. They've

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made an impact. Helen Jenkins leads the chasers. She will be aware of

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the difference. Already, we are seeing it just beginning to close up

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again. Confidence in Helen and Jodie stay right behind her. Beginning to

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close down now. A little bit easier terrain, so surely they'll be

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working hard. There is Jodie wearing number one for Great Britain.

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Working hard. Wants to put herself into contention going into the

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final. Look at that work from Stimpson. That is absolutely

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stunning. Jodie said she has been doing a lot of tech neck work

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through the winter -- technical work through the winter with her coach.

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When a gap opens she can just cover it immediately and that's going to

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put a few fears and doubts into the minds of the other athletes. Another

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climb here for Stimpson. Drops in behind McIlroy. Samuels looks the

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best of them out of the saddle climbing. We'll not forget that

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Stimpson wons in the Austrian mountains, the toughest climb of --

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won in the Austrian mountains, the toughest climb of them all and

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Stimpson has joined the two New Zealanders, so we have a little

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group of three. They're at the front.

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Back into transition. They complete lap four and a noise as they see the

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black and white-suited New Zealand riders leading them through. McIlroy

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and Samuels with Stimpson. Joining that group is Sarah Brault from

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Canada and there's Moffat and Betto and Klamer and Jackson and Lucy Hall

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too. A massive gap. There's no sign of

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the chasers. Well, they really made the statement now and you just

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wonder what's going through the mind of the chasers there? There's some

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good athletes there. Including Helen Jenkins and Alice Betto is doing so

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much work and Alice has dropped to the rear of that pack now. Have they

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just given best to it or will they catch up? The way that Jodie

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Stimpson that has been running any gap that's more than 30 seconds will

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have to be very tight. This is the group that contains Helen Jenkins

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and Alice Betto and Lucy Hall there too. Through they come. The gap

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that's grown and it looks as if the third group, which contains Anne

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Haug has managed to match the hasting group. Good work, hard work

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at the front of the field from Haug. One of her compatriots is there to

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help her along and it's quite a sizeable peloton. About 20. There's

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a 38-second gap to try to close over the leading three. Samuels, McIlroy

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and Stimpson. Here we go. Into transition for the end of the

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penultimate lap of the bikes. Seven down, one to go. No change at the

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front. The two New Zealanders and the British number two, Jodie

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Stimpson. Away they go, leaving transition. That's the last loop of

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the five kilometres. 34 seconds now between the leaders and the second

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group. They're into transition and led by Helen Jenkins of Great

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Britain and Lucy Hall there as well. It's a big gap, but it's not

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insurmountable by any means at all. Under four kilometres to ride.

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Stimpson with Samuels and McIlroy in front. Could come down to a foot

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race between these three. Anne Haug coming from the second group. Has a

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great turn of feet. It's a huge amount to overhaul. It is Haug that

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we would be looking at. It's Haug that we would be expecting to come

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shooting out of that chase back now and really looking to close down.

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The final lap of the bike stage is complete. The first rider in is

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Samuels. Followed by Stimpson. Then McIlroy. Who is going to get the

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best transition here? Lots of noise from the New Zealand supporters, as

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they see Samuels and McIlroy finally get off their bikes after an hour

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and 32 minutes so far. Helmets into the box. Running shoes on. Stimpson

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is ready to run and she leaves in good shape. Same three in and out

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quickly. McIlroy possibly just slightly left behind there. Somebody

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else shuffling across the road with their luggage on the way to the

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airport. We've had a couple of near-misses here today. The next

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group in. The chasing group. 43 seconds behind. Plenty of good names

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here. Lots of good runners. Helen Jenkins is officially 11th she'll be

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eager for an explosive exit out of transition as will Lucy Hall,

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officially 19th. Away they go. Haug has got her white cap on, looking

:26:58.:27:02.

for speed on the exit of transition for the second time. Lucy Hall on

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her way for her ten K run. -- 10K run. Stimpson leading and McIlroy

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and Samuels. It's not lost yet. Jodie Stimpson has started roundly?

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That's what Alistair and Jonny and Gomez. They come out of transition

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and the first two is really putting it on the line to break away and

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Stimpson has done absolutely that. That is a huge gap in the first

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kilometre. She has moved away and maybe 40 metres. It's going to have

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to be a miracle for somebody to close the gap over Jodie Stimpson,

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but here's an early move, coming from Gwen Jorgensen. She has work to

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do, because she arrived with the third group into transition. More

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than two minutes down. Jorgensen we know can strike from a long way

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behind, but surely that's too much for her? Top ten position might

:28:07.:28:13.

still be within her grasp. Great to see Helen make her way through the

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pack. Came out of transition a little down. She used the first 500

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metres just to give herself a body check, to see how she was feeling,

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but has moved to the front. She is actually challenging Haug in this

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long, long chase down on the leader Stimpson. She is almost at the end

:28:30.:28:34.

of lap number one. And she has done significant damage through the first

:28:35.:28:39.

two-and-a-half kilometres on foot. She comes on to the carpet. We'll

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get the official time between our lead Jodie of Great Britain and the

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chase group, with the two New Zealanders and then the main group

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of about 15, the third group. Stimpson leads. One hour and 41.35.

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That's her time at the end of laugh one. Three laps to go. Can Stimpson

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hold on and win the first race of the season? And the second world

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triathlon series victory of her career? McIlroy and Samuels are 19

:29:15.:29:18.

seconds behind. it was 43 seconds at the end of the

:29:19.:29:35.

bike. We will get an idea whether it has shrunk... It has shrunk

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slightly, from 43 to 39. Eight few seconds taken off Stimpson's lead.

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-- a few seconds. Stimpson maintains control at the front of the race.

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The gap is closing down a few seconds. That is to be expected with

:30:08.:30:13.

a group working of each other. The chase group led by the Canadian.

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Groff, Emma Moffett, doing their best to stay with Andrea Hewitt who

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is in that group. Jodie Stimpson is leading.

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Just coming up to the two are Mark -- two hour mark. The gap is going

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to be around 30 seconds. Stimpson takes the Bell. One lap to go. Helen

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Jenkins could make it two on the podium for Great Britain in her

:31:13.:31:15.

comeback race at the very highest level.

:31:16.:31:23.

A little bit of a gap opened up in front of Andrea Hewitt. Three

:31:24.:31:33.

athletes striving to get the two remaining places on the podium. Anne

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Haug has done the right thing. She has refused to leave it to a sprint.

:31:42.:31:45.

She has put pressure on the other athletes to follow. Can Helen

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Jenkins stay there? She is working hard for it. Helen Jenkins shoulder

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to shoulder with the Canadian. She has moved in front! The Canadian is

:32:03.:32:10.

digging deep in a desperate attempt to fight her way back into third

:32:11.:32:18.

position. Out in front, Jodie Stimpson is almost there. What a

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magnificent performance from Stimpson of Great Britain. The first

:32:24.:32:31.

stage of the World Triathlon Series for 2014 has gone according to plan

:32:32.:32:37.

for Jodie Stimpson. She can relax on the run in here. She is warmly

:32:38.:32:45.

welcomed back into transition for the final time and she finishes with

:32:46.:32:50.

a punch and a sprint. Stimpson wins in Auckland, the opening event or

:32:51.:33:00.

2014. Annie Haug punches the air. She came from a long way behind

:33:01.:33:07.

after a disappointing swim. She has finished in second position. We'll

:33:08.:33:12.

be how the two British triathletes on the podium? -- will we have?

:33:13.:33:22.

Jenkins finishes in third was not what a comeback.

:33:23.:33:36.

Groff just gets in in front of Andrea Hewitt. Emma Moffat comes

:33:37.:33:51.

home in seventh. Confirmation of the final results.

:33:52.:34:16.

The first lap was the worst luck, it was terrible. I was hoping my legs

:34:17.:34:24.

would improve. That is one of the toughest courses. I saw Kate and

:34:25.:34:31.

Nikki and I knew it was their selection race as well. I knew that

:34:32.:34:38.

they would not ease off. That was the defining moment in the race. I

:34:39.:34:44.

do wish Non Stanford could be here, I hope she has a quick recovery and

:34:45.:34:49.

joins us soon. But I couldn't be happier. It is a challenging course,

:34:50.:34:59.

there is no easy part of it. There is no time to relax, everyone is

:35:00.:35:05.

hurting. I gave it all and to see what is left for the run and there

:35:06.:35:12.

was a lot left. I am so happy. I have been picking up training

:35:13.:35:18.

gradually and I have such a great team around me. But I did not expect

:35:19.:35:24.

to be on the podium. I love New Zealand, they produce a great

:35:25.:35:36.

course. Jodie ran really well, I did not have the legs to go with her.

:35:37.:35:43.

A big smile on the face of Helen Jenkins. Rightly so. Coming back

:35:44.:35:52.

from injury and what fight back. Bronze medal for Helen Jenkins. Anne

:35:53.:36:02.

Haug backing up her victory in 2013 and 2012. She will be a threat this

:36:03.:36:08.

season. It looks like running strengths are excellent. Jodie

:36:09.:36:16.

Stimpson takes her second World Triathlon Series victory, kicking

:36:17.:36:21.

off her season in perfect fashion here in Auckland. It was not just

:36:22.:36:27.

the victory, it was an emphatic victory. She is the one to beat in

:36:28.:36:32.

2014. Lots of triathletes in training

:36:33.:36:51.

here. Are you enjoying the race? I hear that you are all racing on

:36:52.:36:56.

Sunday. This has been going for 20 years. It is a sprint triathlon.

:36:57.:37:11.

There is also a swim. It is on a fairly flat course. If you have

:37:12.:37:14.

never done a triathlon, this is a great place to start. Tell us how

:37:15.:37:20.

things have been going here today. Everything is very relaxed and

:37:21.:37:24.

friendly. That is the key to this space. A good atmosphere, it kicks

:37:25.:37:31.

off this season for most athletes. So far, everything has been going

:37:32.:37:34.

well. The last few runners coming in now. It has been going for 20 years,

:37:35.:37:43.

how our numbers this year? When we first started, we were getting over

:37:44.:37:48.

100 competitors. But the way that triathlon sport has grown, there are

:37:49.:37:54.

so many reasons to choose from -- races. But numbers are creeping back

:37:55.:38:02.

up now. People travel from all over the country to get here.

:38:03.:38:07.

You have just finished this race, how did you get on? Good, I had a

:38:08.:38:16.

good swim. Strong bike. I struggled a bit in the run. Any

:38:17.:38:30.

-- Ellie Thoroughgood is a junior at Olympian. My aim this year is the

:38:31.:38:39.

Commonwealth. I want to get into the squad. I have always been involved

:38:40.:38:45.

here since I was little. The Commonwealth Games would be

:38:46.:38:49.

incredible. But it will be tough. Wales have some strong contenders.

:38:50.:38:58.

It will be tough. I've had three years of injuries, quite serious

:38:59.:39:04.

injuries. If I did come back and I made it, it would be amazing. It is

:39:05.:39:13.

inspiring hiring others here and thinking I could be part of the

:39:14.:39:19.

team. You have raised all over the world,

:39:20.:39:22.

what is like coming back here to race in a local race? I like it.

:39:23.:39:31.

There is not much pressure. I put pressure on myself. Everyone is

:39:32.:39:36.

chilled. People at the start, for many of them it is their first

:39:37.:39:43.

triathlon. For some they want to improve, for others it is just

:39:44.:39:49.

finishing. It is good to hit reality again. It is great I have the

:39:50.:39:52.

opportunity to go around the world and trained with all these other

:39:53.:39:58.

athletes. And the children look up to people like you. Yes, I like to

:39:59.:40:03.

think of myself as a role model for them. I like to enjoy the race and

:40:04.:40:09.

smile through it. Some of those little girls followed me round the

:40:10.:40:12.

bike course, I saw them about six times. The Commonwealth is your big

:40:13.:40:17.

ambition, but what about the triathlon CDs? The World Triathlon

:40:18.:40:26.

Series is the biggest team thing. -- the biggest thing. You look at those

:40:27.:40:35.

people on the television and you think, I could be racing with them!

:40:36.:40:40.

We hope to see you on the circuit soon. Those elite racers at Hyde

:40:41.:40:47.

Park last year for some of the most exciting races of the season. But it

:40:48.:40:52.

did not go all Britain's way. Alistair Brownlee was injured. He

:40:53.:40:58.

has decided to sit out Auckland. We saw Jonathan Brownlee lose his title

:40:59.:41:06.

in a sprint finish to Javier Gomez. He is an Auckland.

:41:07.:41:16.

It is Javier Gomez's victory! You ask yourself questions, what could I

:41:17.:41:30.

have done differently? Perhaps I could stay behind all those -- Gomez

:41:31.:41:41.

a bit more. I did not want to be in that position again. We learn a lot

:41:42.:41:50.

from each other. I like to be training earlier, get my stretch is

:41:51.:41:54.

done, look after myself better. I think Alistair has seen that and

:41:55.:42:01.

realised he is not invincible just turn up and do his training. He has

:42:02.:42:06.

learned a lot from me. Looking at the flip side, he probably forgot he

:42:07.:42:17.

was speaking to millions of people last year when he called you a

:42:18.:42:27.

tactical numpty. The big thing is that he cares. He wanted me to win

:42:28.:42:32.

that race. The fact that a copy that showed that he does care. -- that he

:42:33.:42:41.

called me that. Alistair is not the type of guy to have a quiet word

:42:42.:42:45.

with you, he is not like that. He says it how he feels. When you are

:42:46.:42:50.

basic, there is that element of wanting to make other people

:42:51.:42:54.

suffered, trying to make them suffer so that you can gain control. That

:42:55.:43:01.

is definitely the case. There is no better feeling when you are cycling

:43:02.:43:07.

along and everybody else is hurting. You can feel them hurting. It is a

:43:08.:43:15.

great feeling when somebody else is suffering and you are not. You are

:43:16.:43:21.

on the podium at almost everything you go to, do you think that power

:43:22.:43:24.

you have gives you are right to the podium almost? If you keep the ball

:43:25.:43:33.

rolling, people can know that they are beaten already. I do know want

:43:34.:43:37.

to turn up to a race and fit or unhealthy because then if someone

:43:38.:43:43.

beats me, they will know that they can beat you again, they know how to

:43:44.:43:51.

beat you. I have had 43 races for a higher being on the podium. I don't

:43:52.:43:56.

know if that is a record. -- as races where I have been on the

:43:57.:44:05.

podium. The Auckland course is soft if you are not a strong cyclist. I

:44:06.:44:10.

have done a lot of cycling this year. I think Javier Gomez has done

:44:11.:44:25.

a few half marathons. I think that might affect him. It is slightly

:44:26.:44:31.

different training. But it is Javier Gomez. Every time I have doubted

:44:32.:44:35.

him, he has come back and raised really well. I guarantee, at some

:44:36.:44:41.

point in that these, I will see them. Back to Matt and Steve to see

:44:42.:44:52.

if Jonny can get back to his winning ways in Auckland.

:44:53.:45:22.

Varga is likely to be the fastest man in the water. The elite men are

:45:23.:45:29.

ready to go for the opening race of the 2014 World Triathlon Series here

:45:30.:45:41.

in Auckland. Gomes closest to us and -- Gomez closest to us with Brownlee

:45:42.:45:53.

seasoned witched by Mola. -- sandwiched by Mola. Just a little

:45:54.:45:58.

slow off the mark there. What a great sight that is. 67 of the

:45:59.:46:08.

world's top all-round athletes get stuck into the waters of Auckland

:46:09.:46:14.

Harbour. It's quite calm here for the water as it's sheltered by the

:46:15.:46:23.

wharfs. It looked like a fast start and the women tended to stay

:46:24.:46:28.

together, but the men are going a furious pace initially. We know it

:46:29.:46:36.

will be tough when we see Gomes and -- Gomez and Brownlee and Mola and

:46:37.:46:41.

he seems to have put himself in the frame. It's going to be an absolute

:46:42.:46:45.

lie fascinating race. A tough bike course of course and something that

:46:46.:46:52.

Gomez and Brownlee absolutely love. We saw earlier in the women's

:46:53.:46:57.

competition how plenty people were caught on the inside on the tight

:46:58.:47:08.

turn around the yellow buoy. Men can be pretty violent at times on the

:47:09.:47:12.

turns. We can see all sorts of ducking and bobbing going around,

:47:13.:47:16.

pulling of legs and the Yanking of arms and anybody who gets caught too

:47:17.:47:20.

close to the inside turn here could be in trouble. Now, the whirlpool

:47:21.:47:28.

begins to get exaggerated. One or two getting really tightly bunched

:47:29.:47:33.

on the inside turn. One got right underneath it there and had a few

:47:34.:47:43.

strokes underwater. VaRG ais un-- Varga is unscathed, forcing the

:47:44.:47:48.

pace. He's heading to the second turning buoy now. At this stage,

:47:49.:47:56.

he'll head back to the wharf, for the end of the first leg and the

:47:57.:48:02.

exit and re-entry to the water. 750 down and 750 to go. Varga can see

:48:03.:48:11.

the ramp, the exit ramp. Quite well spread now, the field. I expect 30

:48:12.:48:15.

second or so between the first man out of the water and the last man

:48:16.:48:27.

out. Henry Schoeman is in good shape. He'll be racing on home turf

:48:28.:48:34.

in Cape Town on 26th April, the end of the month. He's coming out of the

:48:35.:48:40.

water just behind Richard Varga. He adjusts his goggles. Takes a few

:48:41.:48:44.

strides along the pontoon and dives back in. Varga and there is Brownlee

:48:45.:48:54.

in fifth and Shaw in fifth from Ireland. Sweats and Royle and Wilson

:48:55.:49:04.

and Van Der Stel. Tom Bishop in 15th there. All those in the end, 25

:49:05.:49:11.

seconds between the first man in and out. Back to the turn. And Henry

:49:12.:49:30.

Schoeman has opened up the gap and anybody's guess here really. There's

:49:31.:49:36.

lots of body coming through at roughly the same time. Gosh, there

:49:37.:49:44.

was a headlock there. Goodness me. A bit of fisty cuffs. I'm sure that

:49:45.:49:48.

wasn't deliberate, but someone is going to be unhappy with somebody

:49:49.:49:51.

else after that little incident. Slammed on to the back of the neck.

:49:52.:50:03.

Paramedics standing by in case of any injuries. We'll see if there's

:50:04.:50:11.

any retaliation on the next turn. Everybody is staying clear, but it

:50:12.:50:14.

does get a little tight. Someone else has gone down. Two team-mates

:50:15.:50:20.

there, wearing the same colours. One dunking the other. Varga has had

:50:21.:50:28.

enough of playing second fiddle. He wants - he wants his rightful lead

:50:29.:50:34.

restored, so he's turned on the afterburners here and has cruised up

:50:35.:50:43.

to go shoulder to shoulder with Schoeman. It has taken 17 minutes.

:50:44.:50:53.

Varga is first to show, with Schoeman and Brownlee and Gomez and

:50:54.:51:03.

Ben Shaw hit the deck there. Then we can keep an eye open for the next of

:51:04.:51:08.

the British, with Tom Bishop in 15th. And he's in good shape,

:51:09.:51:15.

Thomas. Now they have this run to the transition area. Brownlee

:51:16.:51:22.

leading them. They are trying to get everything right here. The Russian

:51:23.:51:31.

is at his bike and Schoeman has found his. I think we'll have two

:51:32.:51:35.

groups performing in the early stages here. The first five, six men

:51:36.:51:45.

are on their way. Just a real demonstration of how much the swim

:51:46.:51:48.

stretched out there, because it's spread out a long way down. A

:51:49.:51:52.

possibility of this lead group getting away. Around a dozen in

:51:53.:51:57.

there. Look the that. Sissons coming up from New Zealand. Exited in

:51:58.:52:03.

transition with these guys 600 metres down the road already.

:52:04.:52:07.

Brownlee is at the front of the field. You can see that with his

:52:08.:52:13.

rock'n'roll style and his familiar white helmet. He's forcing the pace

:52:14.:52:17.

and keen to boss things from the front and force them to break away

:52:18.:52:21.

and get a decent lead. They would like to keep the numbers down in the

:52:22.:52:27.

early stages. He would rather ride with eight than making a group of

:52:28.:52:32.

28. Jonny Brownlee looking around and beginning to take command

:52:33.:52:37.

already. He just said to Schoeman, "You get through and we'll get work

:52:38.:52:43.

out of you." Gomes and Varga. We expect Gomez to be out there.

:52:44.:52:57.

Poliasnski there too. It made that little gap of five or six seconds,

:52:58.:53:01.

that's not enough at the moment, but the second group have to get

:53:02.:53:04.

themselves working together and get organised. Just looking at the two

:53:05.:53:09.

packs, the first group of eight, they're already well organised. Wow

:53:10.:53:12.

expect that again -- you would expect that with Gomes and Brownlee.

:53:13.:53:18.

And Varga. Brownlee looks behind and urging them through. Gomes indicates

:53:19.:53:23.

the turn and now we get the first real climb and this is where the

:53:24.:53:26.

damage could come in. That looks like the two Russians might be

:53:27.:53:30.

coming off the back of that lead back already. What an indication of

:53:31.:53:37.

the hot pace so soon. There's Tom Bishop from Great Britain. Good

:53:38.:53:45.

start from Tom. Tom's come through the ranks. Me aleed at June -- med

:53:46.:53:53.

aleed -- medaled at junior levels and now had a good swim here. Missed

:53:54.:53:58.

the front tip and worked hard on the first lap to make sure he's in the

:53:59.:54:02.

group that is going to be dictating the pace. Do we have Mola there in

:54:03.:54:09.

the first group, because I didn't see him? Looking for the red Spanish

:54:10.:54:16.

uniform, but I can't see that at the moment. The second red belongs to

:54:17.:54:23.

Varga. Brownlee talking to Bishop. He's spotted him now. I'm not sure

:54:24.:54:26.

he was aware of his presence in the group, but glanced back and gave him

:54:27.:54:30.

a signal. Had a little word with him, so maybe Bishop and Brownlee

:54:31.:54:35.

will plan on working together later in this bike leg. These six are

:54:36.:54:42.

trying to chase them down. Luis of France, but he didn't have the swim

:54:43.:54:46.

I was expecting. He's out of the saddle. A few words with Gomez and

:54:47.:54:52.

invites Bishop to come up and join him at the front. This is the chase

:54:53.:54:58.

group. That could be Mola. That is Mola there. Number three. Mario Mola

:54:59.:55:03.

leading the chase group through. It's quite a sizeable chunk of

:55:04.:55:09.

riders too. Numbering about somewhere between 25 and 30. .man

:55:10.:55:15.

Sharp -- Matt Sharp in that group. The lead group is 15 seconds clear

:55:16.:55:22.

of the chasers. We have the trio of Australians in the front group.

:55:23.:55:28.

They're in an important race. It is a Commonwealth Games selection

:55:29.:55:36.

event. Need good performance here. Could translate into a spot on the

:55:37.:55:40.

Australian team to compete in Glasgow in July and August. Number

:55:41.:55:49.

31 is Poliasnsk. He has hit the deck hard. I hope he hasn't damaged

:55:50.:55:52.

himself, but he may well have damaged the bike. It looks like he

:55:53.:56:01.

is struggling there. That's the gap there between the leaders and the

:56:02.:56:08.

chasers. Mario Mola, some 53 seconds down on the leader half way through

:56:09.:56:13.

the bike stage. That is a big, big gap. Tom Bishop there. One might

:56:14.:56:23.

have expected coming into the senior ranks proper he would have made the

:56:24.:56:27.

lead group and might have been content to sit there and allow the

:56:28.:56:30.

others to do the work, just to watch and see what happens, but he's done

:56:31.:56:34.

so such thing, but he's directly in the front. Certainly, he's earning

:56:35.:56:39.

the respect I'm sure of the other more experienced athletes. He has

:56:40.:56:41.

come through and he's determined to show that he's worth his place in

:56:42.:56:48.

the front pack. It's the experienced road racer, Tom Davidson, the New

:56:49.:56:53.

Zealander. I don't think he's moved the upper body since he took control

:56:54.:56:57.

of the small pack. I think there were four riders in total. One of

:56:58.:57:02.

those has been dropped down. It looks like Davidson will be bridging

:57:03.:57:07.

the gap with the two. Yeah, it's him alongside Declan Wilson from

:57:08.:57:12.

Australia. And number 11 is Ryan Sissons from New Zealand. Sissons

:57:13.:57:21.

will be the one the locals will follow. He'll be the best of the

:57:22.:57:30.

Kiwis so far in this contest now. Bishop is controlling things again.

:57:31.:57:33.

Jonny Brownlee there. There is Davidson and Sissons and

:57:34.:57:59.

number 50, Declan Wilson, about to make contact at last. So the front

:58:00.:58:05.

group of 12 will become the front group of 15 and will now include

:58:06.:58:10.

four Australians. Did you see that? That's just lovely. Ryan Sissons

:58:11.:58:17.

looked over at Tom Davidson and patted him on the back and said,

:58:18.:58:23.

"Thanks mate. Thanks for doing that." A deliberate plan, I'm sure.

:58:24.:58:30.

What does Davidson do? Is he going to sit there or does she go right to

:58:31.:58:34.

the front for the lead back and try to draw it out from there? There's

:58:35.:58:45.

Davidson. He lead through the chase back and making -- pack and making

:58:46.:58:50.

his way through on the big lead back for the first time. There he goes.

:58:51.:58:55.

Maybe, just maybe, we'll see a further influx of pace. He looks

:58:56.:59:02.

over. Has a quick look at Brownlee. Are they discussing tactics? Is

:59:03.:59:06.

Bishop take there? Gomez out of the saddle leading through.

:59:07.:59:17.

Brownlee having a word with him. Along the lines of, "Where did you

:59:18.:59:26.

come from then? Who are you?" Sharing the joke with Gomez too.

:59:27.:59:41.

Davison has single-handedly closed that gap.

:59:42.:59:49.

The first 15 lead by the New Zealander. Here is a Kiwi leading

:59:50.:00:04.

them through, and established road racer, Tom Davison. He is going to

:00:05.:00:13.

have some fun with the leaders. He is already causing some ripples

:00:14.:00:15.

here. I think that's fantastic. Another

:00:16.:00:34.

guy mentioned to the spot. Bringing somebody in blue is even stronger

:00:35.:00:54.

than Jonny Brownlee. -- another dimension to the sport. Davison

:00:55.:01:04.

leading a couple of others with him. That is pushed Javier Gomez to fifth

:01:05.:01:11.

and Brownlee to fourth. It looks as if it is shaping up for another

:01:12.:01:23.

classic Gomez versus a Brownlee ten kilometre run. The last arrival in

:01:24.:01:27.

transition. This time, they will dismount, park their bikes, the feat

:01:28.:01:35.

no resting on top of the pedals as they take that final bend. -- the

:01:36.:01:45.

feet now resting. One of the Australians will arrive there first.

:01:46.:01:49.

They have spread out quite significantly before the transition

:01:50.:01:54.

area. The dismount line is we are in white.

:01:55.:02:08.

Now we head out onto the road. What can Davison produce on the tarmac?

:02:09.:02:22.

Will it be a foot race between Gomez and Brownlee? They are on their way.

:02:23.:02:37.

The first lap of four. We are always anticipating that these two are

:02:38.:02:39.

going to come out hard and fast and so it has proved once again. They

:02:40.:02:48.

have opened a gap in very early on. We saw people trying to go with

:02:49.:02:54.

them, but the gap has opened very early on. Jonny Brownlee leading

:02:55.:02:59.

out. Javier Gomez went to the front quite quickly, I thought he might be

:03:00.:03:08.

content to follow Brownlee, but that hasn't happened.

:03:09.:03:25.

Mario Mola was looking stronger. I wonder if John the -- Jonny Brownlee

:03:26.:03:43.

feels he has something to prove? Alistair is not able to give him

:03:44.:03:56.

roadside encouragement from here. Opening up a gap of 30 seconds. If

:03:57.:04:04.

that is maintained, we will see a gap of about two minutes. That is

:04:05.:04:10.

the indication at the moment. Javier Gomez has thrown down the gauntlet

:04:11.:04:17.

on this one. He has gone to the front, he seems to be pushing and

:04:18.:04:23.

trying to stretch out. So far, Jonny Brownlee has reacted well. He has

:04:24.:04:28.

stayed on his shoulder, going step for step. On identical in cadence

:04:29.:04:39.

and step. -- almost identical. You can see the Australian trio in

:04:40.:04:47.

front. Ryan Sissons wants to get past them. Jonny Brownlee takes the

:04:48.:04:57.

lead. Javier Gomez has been working so hard to stay in front. Jonny

:04:58.:05:04.

Brownlee has reacted in the way that he thinks will do damage to Javier

:05:05.:05:07.

Gomez. Whatever you have thrown at me, I have the ability to absorb it

:05:08.:05:10.

and put more pressure on you. The Australian trio and then Ryan

:05:11.:05:33.

Sissons. He is running himself into a Commonwealth Games slot for New

:05:34.:05:40.

Zealand. Lap number three now. No real move from either man. You would

:05:41.:05:47.

expect it to come towards the end of this lap, early in the fourth lap.

:05:48.:05:53.

Or will this tussle continue all the way through to the finishing line?

:05:54.:05:59.

That is a distinct possibility. Neither man will give anything away.

:06:00.:06:04.

This might as well be their final race of the season, the decider.

:06:05.:06:16.

Such is the rivalry between them. Gomez has been throwing down the

:06:17.:06:19.

challenges like the way through. And there it goes again. Just lifted the

:06:20.:06:33.

pace a little. What is this doing to Javier Gomez? Every time he tries to

:06:34.:06:42.

raise their game, look at this, we are getting athletes lapped already.

:06:43.:06:49.

If he does not get away, what goes through his mind? I have tried

:06:50.:06:53.

everything, I cannot get rid of Jonny Brownlee, how can I change the

:06:54.:06:58.

tactics were to mark not just in this race, but over the season. --

:06:59.:07:06.

change their tactics? Not just in this race, but over the season. He

:07:07.:07:17.

has led for most of this race. The final lap. 2500 metres to run.

:07:18.:07:37.

I always have a concern for an lapped athlete -- we're an lapped

:07:38.:07:47.

athlete tries to mean contact with the elite leaders. I don't think

:07:48.:07:54.

that is going to happen at the moment. The two leaders are

:07:55.:08:00.

beginning to move away now. Gomez is still bleeding. Just a little bit of

:08:01.:08:05.

space between the two leaders. The three Australians are just

:08:06.:08:21.

coming through now. This is where the race is being won and lost

:08:22.:08:26.

between Javier Gomez of Spain and Jonny Brownlee of Great Britain.

:08:27.:08:38.

These two now moving away. Gomez has opened up a little gap. He has made

:08:39.:08:44.

the first move. Can Jonny Brownlee cover this? If you can't close this

:08:45.:08:50.

gap, and I don't think you can, this race might go to Javier Gomez. Jonny

:08:51.:09:01.

Brownlee unable to respond. That really was a concerted effort from

:09:02.:09:10.

Gomez. He put his head down and increased the turnover there.

:09:11.:09:12.

Maintaining that speed, but increasing speed. Jonny Brownlee for

:09:13.:09:19.

the first time losing contact and the gap grows bigger. That is it

:09:20.:09:28.

now. It is five seconds the gap between Gomez and Brownlee. Javier

:09:29.:09:39.

Gomez with the ability to kick away. He had the reserves of

:09:40.:09:44.

acceleration. Banning a collapse from Gomez, victory is assured for

:09:45.:09:50.

the Spaniard to make it three years in a row where he wins in Auckland.

:09:51.:10:03.

Jonny Brownlee digging deep now. Superb performance by Gomez. No

:10:04.:10:07.

letting up at all. Kit challenging and challenging. -- kept

:10:08.:10:15.

challenging. Almost like a heavyweight boxer, that one punch

:10:16.:10:23.

goes in and changes the contest. He has raised a lot this season. He is

:10:24.:10:31.

a racer par excellence. He has dominated in this last 800 metres.

:10:32.:10:36.

There is no letting up. He has maintained at that speed. If there

:10:37.:10:45.

is one man who could close that down, it would be Jonny Brownlee.

:10:46.:10:52.

The gap is closing between the three Australians and Ryan Sissons, but I

:10:53.:10:54.

don't think he has enough. I think there will be a sprint finish

:10:55.:11:00.

between the Australians to claim that final space on the podium.

:11:01.:11:17.

Last 150 metres for Javier Gomez. He will rubber-stamp his position as

:11:18.:11:26.

the world number one. He dealt with everything that was thrown at him.

:11:27.:11:32.

He was a match, more than a match for Jonny Brownlee. He raises his

:11:33.:11:39.

finger. He is the world number one. The defending World Triathlon Series

:11:40.:11:44.

champion wins again in Auckland. Gomez takes the race by storm. A

:11:45.:11:49.

fabulous performance yet again from Javier Gomez. And the successful

:11:50.:11:58.

British weekend of WTS triathlon here in Auckland continues with a

:11:59.:12:02.

visit to the podium for Jonny Brownlee who will finish second.

:12:03.:12:12.

Aaron Royle third. Absolute happiness and relief.

:12:13.:12:20.

I felt pretty good all the time. Worked pretty hard to keep the gap.

:12:21.:12:28.

Jonathan was really strong. But I just gave everything. It was a tough

:12:29.:12:41.

race today. Javier Gomez, I'm always good to see him in the race. He

:12:42.:12:56.

destroyed me to day. I am going to train for the Commonwealth. I know I

:12:57.:13:00.

can't be fit for the whole season. That is my aim.

:13:01.:13:06.

Javier Gomez wins the first triathlon road race of the season.

:13:07.:13:14.

An excellent performance from Grant Sheldon in 12th. Matthew Sharp in

:13:15.:13:18.

13th. Those are the highlights from

:13:19.:13:29.

Auckland. Next up for us is the second leg in Cape Town on April the

:13:30.:13:36.

26th and 27th. You can see highlights on BBC Two.

:13:37.:13:52.

The hardiest annuals return for another spectacular display.

:13:53.:14:26.

The 2014 World Triathlon Series kicks off in Auckland, New Zealand. Britain's Non Stanford begins her title defence in the women's race, while Team GB's London 2012 medal-winning brothers Alistair and Jonathan Brownlee are both scheduled to contest the men's race.


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